The machines! The machines! They’ve gone mad!


The machines! The machines! They've gone mad!

You think it’s annoying when Vista won’t let you play an HDCP video, or your printer locks itself out because it’s decided it’s reached the end of its life?

That’s nothing.

How about being a train driver and the train you’re (allegedly) in charge of refusing to move because its computer is in the wrong mode.

This, as near as I can remember, is the announcement from the guard on the 0911 from Twickenham to Waterloo this morning:

“Ladies and gentlemen, I appreciate the train is busy, but please try to move right inside the carriages. The driver has just reported that every time he goes over a bump the door interlock alarm goes off due to passengers pushing against them. If it happens again the train will go into emergency braking mode, causing further delays to your journey.”

I was travelling in with a friend who works in IT. He sighed, looked absentmindedly out the window, and speculated on the reason they still have both a driver and guard on modern services. “I expect the Ctrl, Alt and Delete buttons are too far apart for one person to be able to reboot the train.”

I think he was joking.

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